Germany is a country with an extensive public transportation system. If you are traveling or moving to Germany, you should familiarize yourself with the public transportation plan in your city, and what discounts are available for daily, weekly, monthly tickets. 

Tickets for public transportation can be purchased at vending machines and ticket counters. Once you purchase your ticket, you may still have to get it “stamped” or validated. There are ticket validators on busses and trams, and at train stations. More and more machines are now issuing pre-validated tickets.

There are no turnstiles or locked gates. Getting on a train or us is based on the honor system but beware of “Fahrkartenkontrolleure” (ticket controllers), which are people, often in civilian clothing, who will ask you to show them your ticket, and if you don’t have one you will be fined. Best is to always purchase a ticket. 

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Here are some useful phrases and vocabulary. 

  • die S-Bahn(en) – the S-train (commuter train)
  • die U-Bahn(en) – the subway
  • der Bus(se) – the bus
  • die Tram(s) – the tram/trolley
  • der Zug(Züge) – the train
  • das Abteil(e) – the section (of a train)
  • der Bahnhof(höfe) – the train station
  • der Hauptbahnhof – central station
  • die (Halte)Station(en) – the stop (station, for trains)
  • die Endstation(en) – the final stop
  • die Haltestelle(n) – the stop (station, for busses and trams)
  • der Fahrplan(plane) – the time table, schedule
  • einsteigen – to board
  • aussteigen – to get off
  • zurückbleiben – to stand/stay back
  • umsteigen – to change trains/busses/trams
  • verpassen – to miss (the train/bus, etc)
  • Welche Station ist ____? – Which stop/station is _____?
  • Wo muss ich/man aussteigen/umsteigen? – Where do I need to get off/transfer?
  • Wie oft muss ich/man umsteigen? – How often do I need to change/transfer?
  • Ich brauche eine Fahrkarte nach_____. – I need a ticket to ____.
  • Wie komme ich von hier nach/zu ______? – How do I get from here to ____?



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